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IFA reiterates 'overzealous' implementation of clean sheep policy as lamb markets strengthen

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Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) national sheep chairman, Sean Dennehy, has said the lamb market continues to drive on this week with farmers securing €5.65/kg for lambs and prices reported as high as €5.85/kg for larger lots.

Mr Dennehy said the said the ewe trade was active, with factories paying €3.20 plus for lots.

Farmers who have fed lambs at a very high cost this winter need to ensure they are getting full value for their stock at this time, Mr Dennehy said. He urged farmers to shop around and to not just accept the base price on offer from the agent or factory.

Clean sheep policy

Mr Dennehy said the IFA met with senior vets in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) again last week and highlighted the unacceptable problems and costs associated with the "overzealous implementation of the policy by the Department". He claimed there were some examples of Department vets acting "over the top" on the issue and sending home or back lambs this week.

In addition, the IFA national sheep chairman said it is totally unacceptable the way "some factories have pushed all of the cost associated with the clean sheep policy back on top of farmers".

Mr Dennehy said: “We have examples this week where some farmers were being charged an additional €1.50 to €1.70 per head just to transport lambs out and back a short distance from the plant to be clipped. On top of this, they had to pay the clipping charge. This is not acceptable and the Department and the factories need to come to an arrangement quickly which eliminates sending lambs back from a meat plant.”

Tags: sheep IFA sean dennehy